Technology employment, already 7.6% of the total workforce in the United Kingdom, is poised for broad-based growth in 2021 as employers continue their post-pandemic recoveries, according to a new report from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).
In its “UK Tech Industry and Workforce Trends” report CompTIA estimates that tech employment will grow by 37,000 positions this year, a 1.5% increase over 2020. The report also notes that employer job postings for tech positions, which dipped during 2020 due to the pandemic slowdown, rebounded in Q1 2021 as employers address pent-up demand.
“Over the pandemic, tech has proven its worth in enabling businesses to continue to work, with automation and emerging technologies playing an important role in helping streamline the ways in which people work in a constantly changing world,” said Tracy Pound, chairwoman of the CompTIA Board of Directors and founder and managing director of Maximity in Birmingham.
“However, cyber criminals have also taken advantage of the situation with a huge increase in attacks on both companies and individuals,” Pound continued. “The demand for tech skills has never been higher, as CompTIA’s research bears out, with the tech industry achieving recognition as an invaluable contributor to business success.”
Northern Ireland is projected to see the largest percentage increase in net tech employment this year, with 2.4% year over year growth and 1,072 jobs added. Scotland (1.8%, +3,567 jobs) and England (1.5%, +32,391 jobs) follow, with tech employment expected to remain steady in Wales. Employment growth is anticipated in 12 of the 13 metropolitan markets included in the report.
Another trend to watch – one in five job postings in 2020 were for positions in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain and internet of things, or jobs requiring skills in those areas.
The CompTIA report reveals that nearly 2.5 million people were employed in technology positions in the UK last year, with employers in IT consultancy and services, such as managed services providers (MSPs), accounting for the largest share (595,371 employees). Other industry sectors that are well represented include engineering, testing and technical consultancy (458,716), telecom, data processing and web portals (278,999), software publishing and custom development (225,030) and tech manufacturing (118,067).
There are more than 282,000 tech firms with payrolls across the UK. Combined they generated £101.8 billion in direct economic impact last year, an estimated 7.2% of the total UK economy. As expected, London dominates with 57,168 tech business establishments. Other markets boast healthy tech sectors, as well, including Manchester (9,853 tech companies), Bristol (5,825) and Birmingham (4,411).
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